What are knowledge base articles
Simply put, a knowledge base article features a set of information about a product as a user guide or to solve common problems. Although technically an ‘article’ it doesn’t always have to be written. Some companies use videos, images, infographics and animations to get their point across.
Creating an effective knowledge base article is tough. There’s a lot of ground to cover and many people don’t realise how involved it is. A good knowledge base article needs to keep things simple. It needs to speak to a range of different people from complete novices to techies and experts. It must talk about a lot of topics – anything that your users may need to know or any issues that they might encounter. Plus, it needs to be interesting and engaging.
So, it can be hard to know where to begin. tenshoku base To help you out, this piece offers a complete guide to creating knowledge base articles. From the bare bones of your strategy to measuring if it’s working and knowing when to give it a refresh.
The perks of having a knowledge base?
First things first, a knowledge base is incredibly useful for your customer support team. With a knowledge base at their fingertips, your team can quickly resolve common customer issues. They can point people towards specific documents or videos as a solution, instead of asking endless questions and trawling through a list of different troubleshooting options.
Of course, customers might not even reach your support team. A knowledge base gives them the freedom to search for answers to their questions without ever darkening your team’s door. This is preferable for some customers. 70% of customers prefer to use a company website to find a solution instead of picking up the phone or writing an email. Millennials, in particular, are well documented as phone-phobics, so if they make up a lot of your customer base then providing online support options are a must.
Having knowledge base articles available to your customers creates a kind of triage system for your customer support. Only the most complex questions and issues will reach your support team (the ones your knowledge base cannot resolve).
As an added bonus, having knowledge base articles can improve your website traffic. 45% of companies that offered some kind of self-service support option experienced an increase in site traffic and fewer phone calls to their support team.
It’s for every business
To clear up a potential myth, don’t believe that you have to be a large business to reap the benefits of knowledge base articles. They work for every business. Every company needs to offer great customer service, from the smallest sole trader to the largest conglomerate. In fact, having a knowledge base can benefit small businesses more than larger ones. They’ve often got little-to-no dedicated customer support and limited resources, so a knowledge base relieves some of the pressure.
Setting the foundation of your knowledge base
Before you ever put pen to paper there are a few steps to do that will ensure your knowledge base articles hit the right note. These will lay the foundations of your knowledge base, so it’s vital that you take your time and don’t miss anything out.
Know your audience
Your customer support needs to be tailored to (you guessed it!) your customers. Knowing your audience will inform every aspect of your knowledge base. They might not even like to read, for instance.
It will also tell you how simple your knowledge base needs to be, although a good rule of thumb is to keep it as accessible as possible. Most people cannot understand highly technical jargon unless they are industry insiders.
Without knowing your audience’s technical understanding or preferred form of learning, your base won’t be able to fully cater to their needs.
In theory, you should already have a good grasp of your customer behaviour as part of your marketing strategy. But if not, there’s no harm in consulting a few customers when developing your knowledge base. Releasing a ‘beta’ version to a select few can help you refine your content, the format and identify any areas for improvement.
Content is king of the knowledge base
Any good knowledge base article has great content. As previously mentioned, this doesn’t necessarily mean a text-only article. It can include imagery and video too. But good writing underpins all of this because you’ll have to come up with the script for a video or the words for an infographic. Our article on how to write amazing knowledge base articles covers this in more detail.
Without the right content that covers every potential question and problem, your knowledge base will fail. It needs to simplify any technical concepts so that anyone can understand what you’re talking about. Jargon, acronyms (that aren’t spelt out) and buzzwords are a big no-no. You also have to make it engaging. If people don’t enjoy reading or watching it then they’ll switch off from your content. Getting ideas for your knowledge base can be tricky at the start, so we’ll offer some inspiration in another guide.
Identify common pain points
Problems that appear time and time again are perfect to include in a knowledge base article. If one customer encounters an issue, it’s highly likely that others will too. So save your team (and your customers) time and effort by including a troubleshooting section.
To uncover recurring and common problems, consult your historical customer support enquiries. Alternatively, you can sit down with your team and ask them about questions that crop up over and over. This has an added perk for your product development – any problems that can be easily resolved will improve later iterations of your products.